The Mayor of Camden laid out some bad news to city employees at City Hall Tuesday: the State Civil Service Commission is reviewing a plan the city has submitted to lay off about 24 percent of its employees.
The crowd sat quietly and listened to Mayor Dana Redd present the difficult facts.
“This is not a great day for me as the mayor of the city to be delivering such news because I do care about the employees and I care about the city,” she said. “But, unfortunately, we are dealing with some fiscal realities that are dictating some of the tough decisions that we have to make in order to move Camden forward.”
Redd said the number of layoffs could be smaller if the police and fire unions offer concessions in their negotiations.
Bruce Alford, who was on hand for the announcement, said the talk of layoffs makes him nervous.”Whatever happens, happens. I just gotta keep rollin’ and find something else to do if that happens,” he said. “The mayor bein’ put in the position she’s in, she gotta do what she gotta do. And you know that’s her job just like it’s my job as a heavy laborer to go out there and do what I gotta do.”
Redd said the layoffs are necessary because of the city’s tight finances; with less money coming from the state, the city faces a $28 million budget gap.